East Asia

Japanese Noh mask

There are over 200 characters portrayed in the many Noh plays of Japan. This one could possibly be Ayakashi the supernatural man or Heida the warrior… maybe someone else. Regardless, it’s a very nice mask.

All of the eyes in Noh masks stare blankly into space. The ambivalent corners of their mouths leave their moods utterly indiscernible. These wooden masks, used in an ancient form of Japanese theater, were made to be expressionless. But performers are charged with using slight and subtle movements to reveal the hidden emotions carved into each one.
Dating back almost 1,000 years, Noh is a style of musical drama with plots ranging from Japanese legends to modern-day events. Its masks, carved from blocks of cypress, are a key part of the tradition, representing figures like demons and monks. Actors are able to portray their characters’ feelings by changing the angle and orientation of their heads.

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